Our bottom line
The American Express Rewards Credit Card gives you access to a popular reward scheme and leaves out the price tag. With no annual fee, you can immediately start feeling the benefit of one Membership Rewards point for every £1 you spend. The real selling point is for new cardmembers, who, if eligible, could earn themselves a windfall of 10,000 bonus points if they spend £2,000 in the first three months. And did we mention no annual fee?
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
What I like about the American Express Rewards Credit Card
The American Express Rewards Credit Card lets you start earning reward points from the get-go and doesn’t trip you up with an annual fee.
- Welcome offer – American Express is looking to entice new customers in with a generous welcome award of 10,000 points if you spend £2,000 in the first three months. This is equivalent to a £50 voucher at one of the reward scheme partner retailers. If you qualify as a new cardmember (that is, you have not held any other personal American Express Cards in the past 24 months) and think you are likely to spend £2,000 on the card in the time frame, then you are looking at earning yourself a bonus straight out of the gate.
- Reward points – The real benefit of this card is the ongoing ability to earn reward points. Cardholders can earn one Membership Rewards point for every £1 spent, with no upper limit on how much you can accrue. Points can then be redeemed against everything from gift cards to flights and hotel stays.
- No fee – Often you will see cards offering some sort of reward program, but the catch is that you are required to pay an annual membership fee. This is not the case with the American Express Rewards Card, as there is no annual fee attached.
- Protection – Being part of the American Express family definitely has its perks. Refund and purchase protection is one of them. With the card, items up to the value of £200 will be replaced or refunded if the retailer refuses to do so. Additionally, if something you have bought with your card is stolen or damaged within 90 days, American Express will replace or repair it or refund you up to £2,500 per eligible item, giving you peace of mind when spending your money and using your card. Note that these insurances are subject to enrolment.
- Other benefits – With a provider like American Express, you are looking at a full-service package. As a cardmember, if you phone with a problem you will be dealing with one person throughout your inquiry. There are also benefits if you travel, with travel accident insurance up to £150,000 available with the card (subject to enrolment). You can also request supplementary cards for family members free of charge.
- Worth knowing – You are not eligible for the welcome bonus if you have held a personal American Express card in the past 24 months (or still hold one).
What could be improved?
Any sort of a reward scheme is a bonus for a credit card, but it is always worth considering how you can then use your reward points.
- Careful redemption needed – How much you benefit from a credit card reward scheme very much depends on how you redeem. The benefit is that if you do some research and take advantage of the best redemption opportunities — which are usually travel related — your points can go far. On the other hand, certain uses of points, such as gift cards or direct redemption to cover purchases on your card, will give you a far lower yield on the points you’ve collected.
- Welcome offer eligibility – This is the same across all personal American Express cards, but you will not be eligible for the welcome award if you hold a personal American Express card or have held one in the past 24 months. It is typical to have some sort of restriction for existing customers and welcome rewards, but two years is on the higher end.
- Overseas usage – Something to always look at with a card if you plan to use it abroad is whether it has a foreign transaction fee. This card carries a 2.99% fee for any purchases made overseas.
How does the American Express Rewards Card offer stack up?
In terms of the number of reward points you can earn with this card, it is a competitive offer. One point for £1 is a fair deal, and with no upper limit, it means that you can just keep accruing points. The welcome bonus also helps get your points balance off to a good start, but it does depend upon a minimum level of spend in the first few months.
As I mentioned earlier, rewards are never going to be as flexible as simple cashback and there may be other offers that align with retailers that are more specific to your spending habits. But if you are looking for a reward card that rewards you for your spending, the American Express Rewards Card does just that.
The American Express Rewards Card credit score
American Express requires applicants to have no history of bad debt, be aged 18 or over and be a UK resident. It also requires them to have a UK bank or building society account that they can provide details of.
How do you apply?
You can apply through the American Express website. The application will reportedly take less than 10 minutes, and you will receive a response in 60 seconds.
You will need to provide personal information, including your income and employment details. Your UK bank or building society account number and sort code may sometimes be necessary, so it’s a good idea to have this on hand.
To have a good chance of being accepted for this card, you’ll need a good credit score. If you know your credit score is top-notch, then you can feel comfortable applying directly. If you’re not so sure, it may be worth using the eligibility checker that American Express provides on its site.
Is the American Express Rewards Card right for you?
If you have not held an American Express credit card in the past 24 months and are looking for a reward card that will instantly start working for you wherever you choose to use the card, then the American Express Rewards Card could look like an attractive offer. The welcome bonus is a big draw for a card like this, so consider whether you would be eligible and whether you could make the minimum required spend.
Putting the welcome award to one side, this card still has a lot to offer in terms of ongoing reward points, no annual fee, and levels of protection. American Express is a trusted brand, and its Membership Rewards scheme, although more limited than a cashback offer, rewards you for simply using the card.
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